Berlin, 15 October 2021 (STATS Perform/dpa/MIA) – Brazil returned to winning ways and continued on their path to Qatar 2022 as Neymar and Raphinha dazzled in a 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay on Thursday.
The Selecao, whose perfect qualifying record ended with Sunday’s 0-0 draw in Colombia, raced to a two-goal lead within 18 minutes against a ragged Uruguay side via strikes from Neymar and Raphinha, making his first international start.
Raphinha doubled his account in the 58th minute as Brazil dominated La Celeste, with Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera prevented the score from being uglier in Manaus.
Luis Suarez’s 77th minute free-kick meant Brazil, who had gone six qualifiers without conceding a goal and nine in home World Cup qualifying games, have conceded twice in their past three before Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa’s rounded out the scoring four minutes from time.
Neymar netted in the 10th minute, chesting down Fred’s lofted ball into the box, the superstar forward getting around Muslera and drilling home from a sharp angle past Sebastian Coates on the line.
Raphinha doubled Brazil‘s advantage, firing in after Neymar’s shot deflected off Diego Godin and Muslera into his path to become the first Leeds United player to score for the South American giants.
Brazil should have had a third in the 34th minute when Neymar and Raphinha both took a touch too many inside the box, failing to shoot.
Muslera kept Uruguay in the game after the interval, denying Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus twice in quick succession, along with Raphinha.
Edinson Cavani, who started alongside Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer Suarez, had a goal disallowed for a clear offside in the 56th minute before Brazil added a third.
Raphinha grabbed his second, capping off a swift counter-attack by firing in off the post from Neymar’s release approaching the hour.
Muslera saved well to thwart substitute Barbosa twice, before Suarez rifled in a free-kick into the bottom corner for a consolation goal – his 65th international strike.
Barbosa got his goal after VAR (video assistant referee) consultation, heading in from Neymar’s cross to make it two goals in his last three international appearances.
Next, Brazil resume qualifying on November 10 at home to Colombia, while Uruguay host rivals Argentina on the same day.